“Morty’s Mind Blowers” is the first episode of season three where a continuous feeling of “eh” floated about. Don’t get me wrong, it was refreshing. This season has laid a strong foundation of character and plot development, unlike previous seasons, so having one episode of pure goofy material was a nice change of pace. It just wasn’t quite we’ve come to expect from Rick and Morty.
The plot of the episode revolves around Morty’s memories which have been erased by Rick and saved in a special little cave he’s hidden under the house. These memories range from truly traumatic events such as Morty accidentally driving a man to suicide, to frivolous things like Rick “taking things for granite”. Eventually, Morty gets fed up with seeing all the memories Rick has deleted, with or without his consent, and he turns on Rick. The two get into a scuffle, and memory wiping gun in Rick’s hand goes off, causing them to both lose memory of who they are and where they are at. They explore the memory files some more in hopes of finding out their identities, but ultimately Summer is their saving grace. She walks in just as they are about to kill themselves and, with a bored attitude, walks through the motions of what seems to be a routine to get their memories back in order.
There’s no doubt that the episode was well thought out and written. The jokes were goofy, the plot was as light-hearted as the show can get, and there was no real effort into pushing an underlying plot. It would have been perfect if not for one fateful phrase: “we’re doing this instead of Interdimensional Cable”.
In my opinion, the Interdimensional Cable episodes of the show have demonstrated the true essence of Rick and Morty because of the improvisation factor. (Ball Fondlers is just 10x funnier knowing that it wasn’t scripted. It just is.) So, to see that improvisation taken out of this season is disappointing not only because the improv was expected, but also because the comedy of the show is heightened and the heart of the show shines without a script to adhere to.
I will say, however, that without the script we would not have seen the full extent of the tension between Rick and Morty. The most notable example of this is Rick’s “granite” flub. While it is hilarious that Rick went through the ridiculous process of wiping Morty’s memory of such a trivial thing, it also really struck me. Once again, we’re seeing that Rick really does have insecurities and he wants his grandson to see only the best parts of him (or at least what he believes to be the best parts of him).
It’s completely understandable that Morty loses his cool after this, but that also shows us that Morty either hasn’t caught onto his grandfather’s charade or just doesn’t care much because of all the things he’s been put through. Either way, small moments like this showed that there is still a lot of emotional baggage being toted around. Even in such a goofball episode.
Overall, you have to hand it to the writers for trying something new. The more light-hearted humor of the episode worked well to balance the darker elements of the rest of the season. Overall, it wasn’t a bad episode, and the wackiness of it a nice break. Here’s to hoping that episode 9 brings more new stuff our way!